Guilty ‘Tombstone’ sent to High Court for sentencing
From the Courts
September 4, 2015
Guilty ‘Tombstone’ sent to High Court for sentencing

After nearly two weeks of trial, career con-artist Alister ‘Tomb­stone’ Smith has been found guilty on all 28 counts of deception.

However, he will have to wait a little while longer to learn his fate, as he will be sentenced at the start of the High Court’s Criminal Assizes. He was initially slapped with 29 charges, but one of the witnesses failed to turn up in court, and that matter against him was dismissed.{{more}}

Smith is currently on remand.

Magistrate Carla James found Smith guilty of the charges last Wednesday, September 2, at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court.

Following his conviction, senior prosecutor in the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions Adolphus Delpesche asked the magistrate to send Smith to the High Court for sentencing.

Delpesche made the submission under section 19 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

“Given the number of charges and nature of his offences, his antece­dence and magistrate’s sentencing power, I asked that he be sentenced at the High Court,” Delpesche asked.

On summary conviction, a magistrate has the power to sentence Smith up to a maximum of two years. However, the High Court has the power to sentence Smith to a maximum of 10 years.

Between April and June 2015, Smith, who operated under the pseudonyms of ‘Miss John’, ‘Pastor Charles’, ‘Richard’ and ‘Miss Williams’, tricked several private business owners into delivering blocks, sand, and other materials to persons on the Windward side of the island, to assist with the construction of houses.

Using those same names, Smith also tricked several persons into giving him money to start said construction. Smith is also said to have conned businessmen out of more than $30,000.

In his closing submission, Smith made a request of the court.

“I am asking the court to dismiss this matter before me. The prosecution has not brought sufficient evidence against me,” said Smith, who represented himself during the trial.

He also questioned why some of the charges were brought against him, insisting that some of the witnesses gave conflicting evidence.

“Why are some of these charges even here from the police? Where did the police get these excessive charges from?” he asked.

Prosecutor Sergeant Elgin Richards also led the case for the Crown.

Previously, Smith was released from prison on November 11, 2013, after being sentenced to a seven-year jail term by the High Court on 2009 on several deception charges. (KW)